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TightVent Europe is a platform, formed in 2011, with a focus on building and ductwork airtightness issues.The creation of the platform was triggered by the need for a strong and concerted initiative to meet the Directive on the energy performance of buildings ambitious targets for the year 2020 and overcome the challenges in relation to the envelope and ductwork leakage towards the generalization of nearly zero-energy buildings. The platform’s main activities, among others, include the production and dissemination of policy oriented publications, networking among local or national airtightness associations, as well as the organization of conferences, workshops and webinars.
TightVent Europe was launched and initiated in January 2011 by INIVE EEIG (International Network for Information on Ventilation and Energy Performance), a registered European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG) whose members include building research centres in Europe.Since then, the platform has received the financial and/or technical support from its partners: Buildings Performance Institute Europe, BlowerDoor GmbH, ACIN instrumenten, Lindab, MEZ-TECHNIK, Retrotec, Eurima, Soudal, Industrias Gonal and SIGA.
In September 2012, TightVent Europe launched the TightVent Airtightness Associations Committee (TightVent TAAC committee) with the primary goal to promote reliable testing and reporting procedures.At present, the participants are from Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and the USA. The scope of this committee includes various aspects such as:
Since 2011, TightVent Europe has published 6 reportsin the fields of building and ductwork airtightness. The first publication on the challenges for building and ductwork airtightness was released in 2011 entitled as: “Critical steps for a wide scale implementation of building and ductwork airtightness”. It included an introductory paper browsing the issues of concern and collect a series of technical documents, namely those produced within the ASIEPI project as well as within the SAVE-DUCT and AIRWAYS projects. Another publication: “Methods and techniques for airtight buildings” was released in 2012, with an overview to the design principles and construction methods for building airtightness. Moreover, the publication: "Building air leakage databases in energy conservation policies: Analysis of selected initiatives in 4 European countries and the USA" was also released in 2012 with information on existing envelope air leakage databases from five countries: Czech Republic, France, Germany, UK and USA. Furthermore,another report was produced in close collaboration with the AIVC, "Building airtightness: a critical review of testing reporting and quality schemes in 10 countries", in 2012; a review of testing and reporting about building airtightness and quality management issues for achieving a good airtightness in 10 countries .In 2013, TightVent Europe published "Building and ductwork airtightness: Selected papers from the REHVA special journal issue on ‘airtightness’" composed of relevant contributions from the special issue on airtightness of the REHVA journal.
TightVent Europe publishes a biannual newsletter with up to date information on developments in respect to building and ductwork airtightness, including policy issues, publications, events, innovative technologies, case studies and research activities.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) is the use of various technologies to control the temperature, humidity, and purity of the air in an enclosed space. Its goal is to provide thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality. HVAC system design is a subdiscipline of mechanical engineering, based on the principles of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer. "Refrigeration" is sometimes added to the field's abbreviation as HVAC&R or HVACR, or "ventilation" is dropped, as in HACR.
A fume hood is a type of local ventilation device that is designed to limit exposure to hazardous or toxic fumes, vapors or dusts.
Ventilation is the intentional introduction of outdoor air into a space. Ventilation is mainly used to control indoor air quality by diluting and displacing indoor pollutants; it can also be used to control indoor temperature, humidity, and air motion to benefit thermal comfort, satisfaction with other aspects of indoor environment, or other objectives.
A blower door is a machine used to measure the airtightness of buildings. It can also be used to measure airflow between building zones, to test ductwork airtightness and to help physically locate air leakage sites in the building envelope.
A hermetic seal is any type of sealing that makes a given object airtight. The term originally applied to airtight glass containers, but as technology advanced it applied to a larger category of materials, including rubber and plastics. Hermetic seals are essential to the correct and safe functionality of many electronic and healthcare products. Used technically, it is stated in conjunction with a specific test method and conditions of use.
Passive house is a voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building, which reduces the building's ecological footprint. It results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling. A similar standard, MINERGIE-P, is used in Switzerland. The standard is not confined to residential properties; several office buildings, schools, kindergartens and a supermarket have also been constructed to the standard. Passive design is not an attachment or supplement to architectural design, but a design process that integrates with architectural design. Although it is principally applied to new buildings, it has also been used for refurbishments.
Building regulations in the United Kingdom are statutory instruments or statutory regulations that seek to ensure that the policies set out in the relevant legislation are carried out. Building regulations approval is required for most building work in the UK. Building regulations that apply across England and Wales are set out in the Building Act 1984 while those that apply across Scotland are set out in the Building (Scotland) Act 2003. The Act in England and Wales permits detailed regulations to be made by the Secretary of State. The regulations made under the Act have been periodically updated, rewritten or consolidated, with the latest and current version being the Building Regulations 2010. The UK Government is responsible for the relevant legislation and administration in England, the Welsh Government is the responsible body in Wales, the Scottish Government is responsible for the issue in Scotland, and the Northern Ireland Executive has responsibility within its jurisdiction. There are very similar Building Regulations in the Republic of Ireland.
Ducts are conduits or passages used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) to deliver and remove air. The needed airflows include, for example, supply air, return air, and exhaust air. Ducts commonly also deliver ventilation air as part of the supply air. As such, air ducts are one method of ensuring acceptable indoor air quality as well as thermal comfort.
A grease duct is a duct that is specifically designed to vent grease-laden flammable vapors from commercial cooking equipment such as stoves, deep fryers, and woks to the outside of a building or mobile food preparation trailer. Grease ducts are regulated both in terms of their construction and maintenance, forming part of the building's passive fire protection system. The cleaning schedule is typically dictated by fire code or related safety regulations, and evidence of compliance must be kept on file by the owner.
The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is the European Union's main legislative instrument aiming to promote the improvement of the energy performance of buildings within the Community. It was inspired by the Kyoto Protocol which commits the EU and all its parties by setting binding emission reduction targets.
Fire dampers are passive fire protection products used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) ducts to prevent the spread of fire inside the ductwork through fire-resistance rated walls and floors. Fire/smoke dampers are similar to fire dampers in fire resistance rating, and also prevent the spread of smoke inside the ducts. When a rise in temperature occurs, the fire damper closes, usually activated by a thermal element which melts at temperatures higher than ambient but low enough to indicate the presence of a fire, allowing springs to close the damper blades. Fire dampers can also close following receipt of an electrical signal from a fire alarm system utilising detectors remote from the damper, indicating the sensing of heat or smoke in the building occupied spaces or in the HVAC duct system.
The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), until 2012 the Heating and Ventilating Contractors' Association, and from then until 2016, B&ES, is the main UK trade association for companies that design, install, commission and maintain heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration (HVACR) and related engineering projects.
A duct leakage tester is a diagnostic tool designed to measure the airtightness of forced air heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) ductwork. A duct leakage tester consists of a calibrated fan for measuring an air flow rate and a pressure sensing device to measure the pressure created by the fan flow. The combination of pressure and fan flow measurements are used to determine the ductwork airtightness. The airtightness of ductwork is useful knowledge when trying to improve energy conservation.
Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre (AIVC) is the International Energy Agency information centre on energy efficient ventilation of buildings.
Building airtightness can be defined as the resistance to inward or outward air leakage through unintentional leakage points or areas in the building envelope. This air leakage is driven by differential pressures across the building envelope due to the combined effects of stack, external wind and mechanical ventilation systems.
Venticool is an international platform formed in 2012 focusing on ventilative cooling issues, with the overall goal to "boost awareness, communication, networking and steering research and development efforts in the field" . In 2020, venticool’s focus was broadened towards resilient ventilative cooling.
Ductwork airtightness can be defined as the resistance to inward or outward air leakage through the ductwork envelope. This air leakage is driven by differential pressures across the ductwork envelope due to the combined effects of stack and fan operation.
The Indoor Environmental Quality Global Alliance (IEQ-GA) was initiated in 2014 aiming to improve the actual, delivered indoor environmental quality in buildings through coordination, education, outreach and advocacy. The alliance works to supply information, guidelines and knowledge on the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in buildings and workplaces, and to provide occupants in buildings and workplaces with an acceptable indoor environmental quality and help promote implementation in practice of knowledge from research on the field.
The International Energy Agency Energy in Buildings and Communities Programme, formerly known as the Energy in Buildings and Community Systems Programme (ECBCS), is one of the International Energy Agency’s Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCPs). The Programme "carries out research and development activities toward near-zero energy and carbon emissions in the built environment".
Ventilative cooling is the use of natural or mechanical ventilation to cool indoor spaces. The use of outside air reduces the cooling load and the energy consumption of these systems, while maintaining high quality indoor conditions; passive ventilative cooling may eliminate energy consumption. Ventilative cooling strategies are applied in a wide range of buildings and may even be critical to realize renovated or new high efficient buildings and zero-energy buildings (ZEBs). Ventilation is present in buildings mainly for air quality reasons. It can be used additionally to remove both excess heat gains, as well as increase the velocity of the air and thereby widen the thermal comfort range. Ventilative cooling is assessed by long-term evaluation indices. Ventilative cooling is dependent on the availability of appropriate external conditions and on the thermal physical characteristics of the building.